• Pies in the Sky: A Solution to Global Warming?
    If global warming sizzles out of control, could 16 trillion small disks deflect enough sunlight to cool the planet? Astronomer Roger Angel proposes to find out.
    more...
  • Science vs. Exploration: A Piggyback Solution?
    Which is a better investment, science or exploration? The question is almost as old as the space program itself, and answering it won´t get any easier as humans move toward establishing a lunar base. But could science be an inevitable outgrowth of exploration?
    more...
  • Looking for Microbial Martians
    A miniature detector, 1 million times more sensitive than the ones carried by Viking, will search for amino acids on Mars. The detector will be sent to Mars aboard the European Space Agency´s ExoMars spacecraft, scheduled for a 2013 launch.
    more...
  • Checking Out the Stellar Neighborhood
    A recent study found 20 new star systems in the sun´s local neighborhood. Most of the new discoveries are red dwarfs, much smaller and dimmer than the sun. Yet scientists are growing more confident that these stars could host habitable planets.
    more...
  • Astrobiology Top 10: Getting to Know Titan
    Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 7 is the Cassini spacecraft´s continuing investigations of Saturn's moon Titan. Scientists knew Titan would be interesting, perhaps containing organic compounds that are the building
    more...
  • How Safe is Travel to Mars?
    A "worst-case" analysis shows that during a trip to and from Mars, astronauts would be exposed to levels of deadly radiation that are considered unacceptable by today´s standards. The danger arises from galactic cosmic radiation and the rare but dangerous storms of protons from the
    more...
  • Mars: Time for a New Chronology?
    Mars Express has provided the most detailed map to date of Mars´ mineralogy and has answered some longstanding questions. Based on this new information, a group of European scientists has proposed new names for the planet´s geologic eras. But not everyone agrees with the need
    more...
  • Saturn’s Methane Moon
    Scientists knew Saturn's giant moon Titan would be interesting, perhaps containing organic compounds that are the building blocks of life. But the discovery of methane lakes and a "methanosphere" raises a question: is a frozen moon orbiting a giant gas planet Earth's closest analog in
    more...
  • Saturn's Methane Moon
    Scientists knew Saturn's giant moon Titan would be interesting, perhaps containing organic compounds that are the building blocks of life. But the discovery of methane lakes and a "methanosphere" raises a question: is a frozen moon orbiting a giant gas planet Earth's closest analog in
    more...
  • Proving the Case
    On Earth, methane is mostly produced by life. The recent detection of methane on Mars therefore has led to much speculation about the possibility for life on the Red Planet. The strategies that may resolve this issue are revealed in the final part of
    more...